P24 Antigen rapid test for diagnosis of acute pediatric HIV infection

Zaheer A. Parpia, Robert Elghanian, Arman Nabatiyan*, Diana R. Hardie, David M. Kelso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Currently, the majority of HIV-infected infants are found within limited-resource settings, where inadequate screening for HIV due to the lack of access to simple and affordable point-of-care tests impedes implementation of antiretroviral therapy. Here we report development of a low-cost dipstick p24 antigen assay using a visual readout format that can facilitate the diagnosis of HIV for infants in resource-poor conditions. A heat shock methodology was developed to optimize disruption of immune complexes present in the plasma of infected infants. The analytical sensitivity of the assay using recombinant p24 antigen is 50 pg/mL (2 pM) with whole virus detection as low as 42.5k RNA copies per milliliter plasma. In a blinded study comprising 51 archived infant samples from the Women and Infants Transmission Study, our assay demonstrated an overall sensitivity and specificity of 90% and 100%, respectively. In field evaluations of 389 fresh samples from South African infants, a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 99% was achieved. The assay is simple to perform, requires minimal plasma volume (25 μL), and yields a result in less than 40 minutes making it ideal for implementation in resource-limited settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • HIV p24 assay
  • carbon nanoparticles
  • heat shock immune disruption
  • infant HIV
  • lateral flow diagnostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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